Political Positioning And Change

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did a great thing when he maneuvered the New York State legislature into approving gay marriage. Part of why he did it, in my view, was a question of political positioning. Aside from the accomplishment, what was Cuomo looking for? In my view, stories like this one by Nate Silver:

[T]he type of leadership that Mr. Cuomo exercised ó setting a lofty goal, refusing to take no for an answer and using every tool at his disposal to achieve it ó is reminiscent of the stories sometimes told about with President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had perhaps the most impressive record of legislative accomplishment of any recent president. Itís also a brand of leadership that many Democrats I speak with feel is lacking in President Obama.

There is, in my view, a fatigue building among Democrats regarding President Obama's political style, his vaunted Post Partisan Unity Schtick (really just a variant on the old Clinton/DLC Third Way Schtick.) Obviously that is not meaningful to 2012 in terms of who the nominee will be - the President will not be challenged. But it is meaningful for 2016. Thus, when Silver writes:

Whoever is the Democratic nominee in 2016, he or she will almost certainly endorse same-sex marriage, as about two-thirds of Democratic voters already do. But itís unlikely that any of them will be able to better Mr. Cuomoís accomplishment. Particularly if Mr. Obama loses next year, his approach toward leadership is one that many Democratic voters will have an appetite for.

We know what he is driving at - Andrew Cuomo will be running for President in 2016. And one of the things he will be pointing to is how he achieved a progressive policy on gay marriage. Unstated but implied will be the contrast to President Obama that Silver describes.

I used to joke about wanting everyone in Congress to run for President. The reason for this is that when Democrats are considering running for President, they become much more progressive. This is the image they must project to have a chance at winning. In 2008, President Obama signalled his "progressiveness" mainly by highlighting his opposition to the Iraq Debacle, something his main rivals could not do.

Andrew Cuomo now has his progressive accomplishment, and it is a big one.

When I write this it is not intended to slight what Cuomo has done. This is my prism for all politicians. "Pols are pols and do what they do." It is, in my view, the activist and the citizen's task to figure out how to understand the political impulse and to strategize accordingly in order to effectuate the changes they desire.

In his diary today, David Mizner writes:

Anger over the President's performance is understandable. But ahistorical criticism that exaggerates his awfulness or imputes to him unusually dark motives discredits critics and, more importantly, minimizes the work that needs to be done. In case you missed the point of this post, let me stress: it has little to do with President Obama; it's about what the left should be. Barack Obama is an American president, doing his thing. We need to do ours.

I agree but would go further. Discussion of the President's "motives" is silly. His overriding "motive" is winning election, which is proper in a politician. That is their role. Understanding that motivation is critical to pushing for "change." It leads to my refrain:

As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in. I am a partisan Democrat it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the times. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues. And this is true in every context I think. Be it pressing the Speaker or the Senate majority leader, or the new hope running for President. There is nothing more important we can do. Nothing. It's more important BY FAR than "fighting" for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you. In the middle of primary fights, citizens, activists and bloggers like to think their guy or woman is different. They are going to change the way politics works. They are going to not disappoint. In short, they are not going to be pols. That is, in a word, idiotic. Yes, they are all pols. And they do what they do. Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about. That often means fighting for a pol of course. But remember, you are fighting for the issues. Not the pols.

With regard to President Obama, I think the time for trying to shape his policy goals is just about over. Less than 18 months to the 2012 election, the President's men and women are not likely to be swayed by pressure. (And it is not clear that Presidents generally can deliver much after the first year of their Presidency anyway, outside of court nominations.) Their eyes are solely on what will get them more votes in November 2012 (and more votes from the entire electorate.) Most in the Dem Party will of course vote for him, and rightly so (if for no other reason than the Supreme Court.)

But someone will succeed the President, either in 2012 or 2016. After 2008, perhaps a little more realism about politicians will be more welcome and may lead to a more effective progressive activism.

Speaking for me only

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    I would (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:08:30 PM EST
    call what Obama is doing is more Reaganite than DLC. I mean I can't even imagine a DLC-er signing things like Stupak or the HCR that Obama passed.

    It's funny that Obama used the IWR because knowing what we know now, he would have voted for it and probably sounded like Joe Lieberman while doing it.

    Maybe it's not so much issues as a politician that will yield to pressure from the people of this country. I mean Obama seems completely clueless to what the American people want.

    I don't think he's clueless (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:15:34 PM EST
    about "what the American people want."  He knows, he just doesn't care because he thinks his way is the correct way.

    He has millions of reasons for (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 07:33:45 AM EST
    disregarding "what the American people want."

    Obama Raises $2.4 Million from Wall Street in One Evening


    That's (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:29:04 PM EST
    even worse than being clueless. That's downright condescending and uncaring if that's how he feels.

    And it's the exact attitude that turns off working class voters in the droves.


    I think he knows what we want, but (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:45:05 PM EST
    I'm not sure he thinks we deserve to get it or have it; I mean, is there anyone in the inner circle - or even in the first three rings of that circle - who possesses any history or record of populist advocacy and leadership?  

    The answer to that question should be pretty much all anyone needs to know, and which label one slaps on him doesn't make the decisions and polices coming out of the WH any better or easier to understand or acceptable.


    He is (slowly) (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:24:57 PM EST
    actually taking us out of Iraq.  And he has yet to start a major war.  Yes, we are involved in Libya but 1) we didn't start that war out of thin air, it was already going on, 2) we only joined after the rest of the world asked us to, we didn't spend a lot of time trying to convince them to join us, and 3) we haven't actually sent many ground troops there.

    I strongly disagree with the assertion that Obama would have gone into Iraq.

    Finally, Bart Stupak himself is a Democrat.  For that matter, the Hyde amendment still has to pass congress every year - and has, every year - since it was first passed in the 70's.  That means a whole heck of a lot of Democrats have been supporting it since day 1.  I think you have a very distorted view of who Democrats are, and who they have been to date.

    HCR was passed through an overwhelming Democratic congress.  Yet you can't imagine a DLC-er passing it???


    Well, if the original DLCers (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:35:34 PM EST
    had wanted Obama's health insurance bill, wouldn't they have crossed party lines to support Bob Dole's bill 15 years ago?  Because they're essentially the same policy.

    That didn't happen in the 1990s in the universe I live in.  Did it happen in yours?


    a lot of things (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:38:42 PM EST
    have changed since then.  Time doesn't stand still, and neither do people.  Those same people implemented DADT which has now been overturned.

    You're (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:41:17 PM EST
    right and Obama has moved everything so far to the right that Bob Dole's HCR is now seen as "progressive".

    not quite right, Ga6th (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:31:05 PM EST
    Obama has moved everything so far to the right that Bob Dole's HCR is now seen as "progressive"

    "progressives" see Bob Dole's POS HCR as "progressive" because now it's Obama's POS HCR

    it truly is that simple



    That's (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:36:47 PM EST
    why I don't call myself a "progressive" because "progressive" means whatever Obama thinks is good.

    And that is why (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:33:12 PM EST
    I also refuse to call myself a "progressive."  You can call me an old-fashioned liberal, a DFH, a left-of-the-left, even a damned-near socialist.  But don't call me a "progressive."   ;-)

    Status Quo (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:07:28 PM EST
    was less progressive than ACA.

    That's the point.


    That's your point, but (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:20:09 PM EST
    it doesn't make it the truth.

    So you're agreeing with me (none / 0) (#22)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:40:55 PM EST
    that the Democratic leadership has become more conservative over time with regard to economics and that Obama and the Democratic leadership has embraced Republican ideas.

    That's fine and all, but I'd still maintain that's more a Democratic leadership shift than a shift in the American public's view of things.


    heh (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:43:50 PM EST
    I'm agreeing with you that the debate on healthcare has shifted.  Personally I think that has more to do with the fact that president after president has tried and failed to pass hcr than any ideological change.

    So, it's not that they are (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:46:34 PM EST
    more conservative?  It's that because it's hard, they decided maybe the Republican's ideas aren't so bad after all (and hey, it will keep the wall street money coming into their campaign war chests)?

    Alrighty then.

    Still waiting for a President to pass "HCR".  


    Well we obviously disagree (none / 0) (#37)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:56:15 PM EST
    as to the merits of HCR, so this conversation is dead.

    The definition of "Republican" and "Democrat" change over time, as do the definition of "good" and "bad" policy ideas.  You're from Boston, take busing for example.  I think most people today would agree that the time for busing has passed.  Including those who were highly involved in the original fight.  That doesn't mean everyone who opposes busing right now is doing it because they believe in segregation.


    So you think that Bob Dole's and (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:03:08 PM EST
    the current Democratic leadership's pro-insurance company market based solutions to health care are workable?  What does that have to do with the price of bananas, or busing?

    Analogies work when they are apples to apples.  


    I think that any massive expansion of medicaid (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:06:20 PM EST
    is a good thing.  I think that subsidies for poor people are a good thing.  I think that increased regulation of insurance companies is a good thing.

    I have mixed feelings about the mandate.

    I think that we are not done with this yet, but it's a start.


    In case you haven't been reading, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:25:16 PM EST
    cuts to medicaid and medicare are being considered and in many states (with respect to state medicare funding) are certain to occur, so the "massive expansion" sounds nice but won't happen.  Increased regulation is a good thing, but the support given to the insurance companies in Dole's/Democratic Leadership's market based policies will allow those companies to find loopholes around the inadequate regulation will end up as a net negative.

    all (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:29:09 PM EST
    of that stuff only affects the interum, none of it affects what happens in 2014.

    Whether it happens or not, and how well it happens depends on 2012, IMO.


    Your first sentence is (none / 0) (#49)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:30:31 PM EST

    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:32:36 PM EST
    the ACA is still law.  Whether or not it morphs into a disaster or a good law is what matters.

    True. But that is precisely (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:40:59 PM EST
    the reason that it's important to acknowledge the rightward drift of the Democratic party and refuse to support it.

    I think (none / 0) (#59)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:57:35 PM EST
    yes we ought to acknowledge the rightward drift of the Democratic Party.  I support the ACA and changing it to make it better.  I am not sure what the alternatives are, I think repealing it or having SCOTUS rule against it would be terrible.

    Hmm. Taking your previous (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:19:31 PM EST
    point, I don't think it makes much sense to support or not support the ACA at this point.  I think it does net damage to providing health care to people in this country, but the law's the law.

    I think it's naive to think it will morph in a positive way while supporting the rightward drift of the Democratic party.


    I think (none / 0) (#60)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:57:35 PM EST
    yes we ought to acknowledge the rightward drift of the Democratic Party.  I support the ACA and changing it to make it better.  I am not sure what the alternatives are, I think repealing it or having SCOTUS rule against it would be terrible.

    sorry (none / 0) (#53)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:36:07 PM EST
    I was confusing bills that are likely to pass with those being considered.

    I think the point is that (none / 0) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:06:09 PM EST
    Dem's have stayed the same and expectations have changed in a lot of different directions.

    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:34:11 PM EST
    the people in congress say that we need to end the war but continue to vote to fund it. As far as HCR goes, many said they wouldn't vote for it if the public option wasn't in it and then there was no public option so I don't think their voting record says much. They make all kinds of noises but then they will do whatever Obama wants them too. This is kind of a mirror image of what went on during the Bush administration. The GOP would whine and whine about spending and then continue to vote for every spending plan Bush put out there.

    After watching Obama as President for these past few years, I have no doubt that he would have voted for the Iraq Resolution. You have to remember that all the GOP has to do is call him names and he does what they want and you have to remember that Bush was calling people names who didn't vote for it. Obama would folded like a cheap suitcase. That's been his MO on almost everything.


    heh (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:37:11 PM EST
    so in other words, all other Dems are just like Obama.

    And I pretty much disagree with all of your crystal ball projections, but that's kind of a moot point since we'll never know.


    No (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:40:15 PM EST
    the problem is that they have just become a rubber stamp for what Obama wants much like the GOP was for Bush. If they did what they say they stand for, they would have voted against some of the legislation. If they really were serious about a public option, they would have voted against HCR so I only can deduce that they don't stand for what they say the do or they are willing to compromise their so called beliefs on the altar of Obama.

    Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:38:06 PM EST
    signed an unnecessary executive order that applied to his HCR. He could have fought to get rid of the Hyde Amendment in the first place but didn't even try. He could also rescind it at anytime and chosen not to do so.

    so could (none / 0) (#20)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:39:16 PM EST
    a lot of presidents since it was originally passed.  But none of them did.

    Well (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:42:40 PM EST
    Clinton tried to get rid of it but didn't succeed but no one has codified it into law like Obama has. It was an annual renewal of the Hyde in budgets but now it's also a law enacted by Obama.

    Abortion restrictions under Hyde (none / 0) (#63)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    were expanded under Clinton's watch.

    Not that we are doing a fair evaluation of the politicians or anything.  

    Back to bashing O-Punching Bag we go!


    Not from what (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:23:35 PM EST
    I remember or what I could google. He signed no executive orders restricting it like Obama did and he also over turned a bunch of Reagan orders. IIRC Obama only overturned one of them that Bush had instated. Clinton also passed the Freedom of Choice Act. Obama has said that women should consult their pastors and everybody else before making a decision as if women can't make these decisions by themselves. Obama has proven himself no friend to pro-choice voters.

    it was (none / 0) (#74)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:33:09 PM EST
    extended to include medicare in 1998, in 1997 the life endangerment exception was narrowed.

    The medicare expansion was actually a big one because that includes people under 65 who are disabled.


    Small (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:37:59 PM EST
    potatoes considering what Obama has done. He has now pretty much outlawed it for private insurance which includes everyone starting in 2014.

    And so is why (none / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:38:43 PM EST
    protecting Roe V Wade so important when Obama's HCR is virtually outlawing it?

    because (none / 0) (#80)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:40:41 PM EST
    that's not what it does

    Well (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:29:20 PM EST
    outlawing is really the wrong word here. It should be making it much less accessible to millions more women. He decided to restrict coverage in the exchanges. He could have not signed that Executive Order and this wouldn't be the case.

    kind of like what (none / 0) (#95)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:33:53 PM EST
    eliminating it from medicare did.

    How many people (none / 0) (#102)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:46:02 PM EST
    are actually of child bearing age on Medicare? I would imagine very few.

    How many millions are going to be buying insurance through the exchanges? Millions.


    how many of those millions (none / 0) (#106)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:56:30 PM EST
    have health insurance coverage today that covers abortion?  How many have health insurance period?

    My assummption is that most of the people on the exchange will be people who are currently without insurance.  We've had exchanges in MA for years, but I've never used them since I have insurance through my employer.

    The women on medicaid, and the child-bearing women on medicare are some of the poorest, most vulnerable members of society.  In sheer numbers, it's probably less than who would be on the exchange. In terms of ability to pay, I'd say they have the hardest time of anyone.


    And that is exactly why the (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:14:11 PM EST
    exchanges won't work, because they will be insufficiently funded.  Thus, those women will still not have adequate healthcare, and the Democratic party is now on record as being against full healthcare parity for them (in terms of the Democratic ACA's anti-abortion funding amendment).  

    How many folks using the exchanges in the future (none / 0) (#107)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:58:36 PM EST
    have insurance covering abortion right now?  Simpler:

    Having insurance with no abortion coverage is better than no insurance and no abortion coverage.

    I struggle to see the flaw in that line of thinking.


    The flaw is the people you are (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:03:51 PM EST
    talking about may have "insurance" (or pay penalties for not having it) but they way the system is gamed they will not be able to afford care.

    So, they will have no (or substandard) care, just as they do now, AND the Democratic party is now even further on record for being willing to deny abortion-related funding to millions more women than before.


    Prob because you have a (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 08:32:55 PM EST

    As to who has insurance now who would be using exchanges in a couple years? Women who lost coverage with a job loss, who would like to start their own business/go self employed, loss of coverage due to divorce, aging off parents coverage, going back to school post 26, etc. Oh, and companies just plain not offering insurance.


    This is bullpucky (none / 0) (#83)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:51:11 PM EST
    When people say that facts are important here, I think it would be helpful if we had someone correcting bold assertions that Obama's healthcare reform law is effectively outlawing abortions.

    C'mon Anne.  If you are on me about being loose with a random technicality, you should be driving a truck over someone saying that Obama is outlawing abortion.


    Abortion is still legal, but the parameters (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:08:09 PM EST
    within which it is possible to obtain an abortion have narrowed and are narrowing, and try as I might, it's hard to find many instances where  Obama has stood fast to hold the line on the right to choose.  Yes, HHS sent a letter of protest when Indiana Planned Parenthood was defunded, but that's about all I can come up with.

    Is not protecting it the same as outlawing it?  Is signing executive orders that make it harder to have that choice the same as outlawing it?

    At what point does this become a distinction without a difference - if the end result is that, once again, the right to have an abortion becomes the province of the well-off?

    I can tell you one thing with certainty: Obama's willingness to sacrifice the interests of women did not sit well with a lot of people, many of whom have fought long and hard for all women to have the right to choose.  I think the choice he made was the cheap one, and the whole issue would have been better served with actual leadership, the kind that defines the mettle and character of the person who signed up for the job.


    And with the current SCt 5 to4, will narrow furthe (none / 0) (#131)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:24:34 PM EST
    Look (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:26:09 PM EST
    if you get insurance through the exchanges you are not able to buy abortion coverage are you not? It restricts that coverage for a lot of people and you know it.

    not gonna lie (none / 0) (#110)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:06:31 PM EST
    one of my biggest pet peeves is the misinformation on this blog about the ACA.

    That's not to say everyone has to love it.  But it would be beneficial if they at least got the facts right.


    I agree (none / 0) (#113)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:16:51 PM EST
    with your pet peeve, but we probably disagree on who is more guilty of spouting the misinformation.

    for the record (none / 0) (#116)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:28:26 PM EST
    I'm not talking about you really, I don't recall you spouting lots of misinformation.  But I also know my $hit pretty well on this.  You may disagree with my opinions but I don't make up facts about what is actually in the ACA.

    Well, my opinion is that (none / 0) (#119)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:37:01 PM EST
    you know the position papers of the supporters of a market-based health insurance system pretty well, but that you often use language presenting their projections as facts even when they fly in the face of political and economic realities.  That can be a slippery slope to misinformation in my view.

    Not to say that other people on both sides don't sometimes exagerate or get things wrong.  


    i think you mistake my position on this (none / 0) (#120)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:49:11 PM EST
    I do not subscribe to the Ezra view that exchanges are reform.  If you read the list I gave above, that pretty much explains what I like about it.  I do not think the exchanges will fix the cost curve or completely reform insurance.  I think the bill does more good than harm.  That's the extent of my support.

    What I don't do is project massive changes to the bill which I think is what you are referring to.  But no offence, I do not consider the tl opinion about political realities to be gospel.  So I talk about what it says today, rather than what might be there at some future date.


    I think you're (none / 0) (#121)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:55:22 PM EST
    not really understanding the context that the "cost curve" issue plays in evaluating the net positives/negatives of the bill.  That's the sense in which I think you're parroting the Ezra view of the bill rather than viewing it correctly within the boarder political and economic realities.

    Also, the "massive expansion" (none / 0) (#122)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:01:50 PM EST
    of medicaid argument is misleading.  There is a theoretical expansion of federal medicaid funding, but there is already movement in many states toward defunding state funding of medicaid, so at minimum, the expansion won't be massive on an aggregate level.

    Also, medicaid is next to nothing for lots of people.  Without pouring much, much more money into it, I think it really is difficult to say with a straight face that medicaid equals quality healthcare.  It's another example of the rightward shift of the Democratic leadership to tell people that all you have to do is throw a little more money at medicare to give the economically disadvantaged the health care that every American deserves.


    oops...I meant (none / 0) (#123)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:02:47 PM EST
    medicaid in that last sentence.

    the aca spells out pretty clearly (none / 0) (#124)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:07:42 PM EST
    Who will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014.  I don't see how statewide efforts can overrule federal law.

    Medicaid is better than nothing.  Again, I do not think, and have never said, that this bill will solve the healthcare issue.  I just think its a net positive.


    Medicaid is not always (none / 0) (#125)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:12:46 PM EST
    better than nothing.  And if the states continue to cut funding for medicaid, than services provided under medicaid will have to be cut for everyone in order to guarantee eligibility.  Thus, a net negative even for medicaid recipients.

    Thus, a good example of my concern.  Saying "the bill says cleraly x number of people will be eligible for medicaid in 2014" as fact is very likely misleading, as it doesn't provide any indication regarding the good chance of declining quality of care between now and then.


    heres my issue (none / 0) (#127)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:24:40 PM EST
    Are the potential changes to Medicaid a result of the ACA, or a result of republican governors?  I firmly believe that they would be making these changes even if the healthcare bill were not in place.  These are republicans were talking about.  When have they ever needed an excuse?  The ACA does, however, provide a floor.  And that floor is a lot higher than it is without the law in place.

    Imo, you are ignoring political and economic realities when you assume the funding would've remained, and the status quo for healthcare pre ACA would have remained, without the ACA.  By establishing minimum standards at least some protections remain.  The race to the bottom was happening anyway due to economic realities.  This did raise the floor.


    Bottom line (none / 0) (#143)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:42:43 AM EST
    Is Obama outlawing abortions with ACA?

    Why can't that get a straight answer from folks?


    also (none / 0) (#97)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:38:58 PM EST
    there is a huge leap between outlawing abortion outright, and outlawing federal funding of abortion.

    In between that gap lies planned parenthood, for example.


    CST (none / 0) (#103)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:48:01 PM EST
    I wasn't aware that getting insurance thru an exchange = federal funding.

    sorry (none / 0) (#108)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:02:44 PM EST
    it's not the exchanges, it's the subsidies.  Link to executive order.

    "The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014."

    "The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans and requires state health insurance commissioners to ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles"


    But, maybe some don't want to see (none / 0) (#132)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:31:11 PM EST
    the distance within the gap, CST. Maybe the pushback that you are getting from some others has something to do with an attitude about the President and not much to do with facts.

    BTD talks at the outset of this thread about motive talk in the context of presidential politics--i.e., that a President may actually have a political or other motive--as "silly." I'm guessing that you agree with that statement (as do I.) Yet, how many times in how many threads at TL have some posters supposed or questioned or seemed aghast at Obama's "motives?" Answer: Too many times to count.


    You're one to talk about facts. (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:14:57 PM EST
    All I ever see in your comments is unsubstantiated condescention, to be honest.

    false (none / 0) (#81)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:40:56 PM EST
    The fact that really blows their mind CST (none / 0) (#105)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:56:16 PM EST
    is when you ask them to give you the percentage of women who received abortions in 2007, let's say, who used insurance to pay for it.

    They have no idea.  There is no discussion of the relative size of the problem.  There is no realistic look at sources like planned parenthood and other private orgs making up the funding gap and keeping choice available.

    I, along with everyone posting here, think that the government should pay for the right to choose if a person can't afford it.

    But that doesn't means we have to declare that Obama is outlawing abortion or even doing something drastically different than what has been done before in pressing for that idea.


    During the health care bill formulation (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:18:23 PM EST
    period, I researched this question.  Most women who had health insurance through a group plan did, in fact have abortion coverage.  However, many women apparently preferred to pay for the cost out-of-pocket, probably for reasons of privacy.  

    Most any democratic administration (none / 0) (#82)
    by mm on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:47:31 PM EST
    Would not have "gone into Iraq".  That's not the point.  There's no chance in hell that a Senator Obama would have voted against Bush's Iraq resolution.

    Did a lot of reading (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:10:19 PM EST
    over the weekend regarding Obama's re-election plans and strategies. Without going into all the details there are several issues that are clear.

    1. Obama, and his advisers, are fully aware of the disillusionment, or disgust, by a great block of those that enthusiastically supported him in '08, namely the youths, and the real Liberals.

    2. While he will attempt to energize them somewhat for '12, he has no intention of doing it by policy initiatives they hold dear.

    3. His well publicized groveling for money trip he took recently was his way of saying "I'm sorry for calling you fat cats" and letting Independents know his fidelity to Wall Street is sincere.

    4. Finally, and it seems abundantly clear, that what we've postulated here on TL many times is, in fact, true: His campaign theme will be: "I know you think I suck, but let me tell how much more they suck."

    I hope he goes with that strategy (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:12:05 PM EST
    Because I don't think anyone here will give him credit even if he did make substantial progress on issues they hold dear in the next year.

    Because the poor guy HAS made substantial progress on issues you hold dear in the last 2.5 years and you are still crapping on him.

    Screw that. Go for the people who aren't going to bash you for fulfilling their every wish.


    You keep (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:29:49 PM EST
    making straw men arguments. No one wants him to "fulfill" their every wish. I don't think anyone here thinks he's Santa Claus like you do.

    But I know the drill Obama is simultaneously the "best president" ever and the most impotent.


    "fulfilling their every wish. " (none / 0) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:22:17 PM EST
    Like food, medicine, job?

    Yeah screw them.

    Sounds like your Love God's slogan.


    Actually yeah (1.00 / 1) (#84)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:53:47 PM EST
    screw anyone with completely unrealistic expectations.  Obama is making moves on the food, medecine and job front and if you think he's doing nothing, then yeah. Screw ya.

    ABG: Saying the things that Obama wishes he could but can't.


    Its been fun (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:13:48 PM EST
    But I enjoy debating sentient people, not brainwashed, adolescent groupies. And in a duel of wits there's no fun taking on an unarmed opponent. Go spew your blather to someone else.

    We're done.


    "Making moves" - heh (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:22:54 PM EST
    Like my 4-year-old with her grilled asparagus last night.  The idea was for her to actually eat it, but she was "making moves with it".

    Not what she was supposed to be doing, but hey ....  you couldn't accuse her of doing "nothing".


    What job front are you talking about? (none / 0) (#90)
    by PatHat on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:20:01 PM EST
    Must ..... stop ....... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:09:52 PM EST
    .... laughing

    Screw that. Go for the people who aren't going to bash you for fulfilling their every wish.

    .... can't ....

    ... breathe ........


    #4 (none / 0) (#104)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:54:22 PM EST
    has been in play for a while now. "Hope and Change" (and "Dreams") worked last time, now it is all about "Hate and Fear". It might work - and I might, or might not, vote conservadem. Hate and Fear are great motivators and can move masses.

    "I love the way you lie" maybe he (none / 0) (#118)
    by seabos84 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:35:13 PM EST
    should hire Rihanna and Eminem for his campaign stops -

    BTW - I'm going to get snotty here - I have a hunch that a LOT of blog-o-topians do NOT know that "I love the way you lie" was the #1 hit last summer -

    I work in a high school, so, when I was driving home and caught a few of the lyrics it sounded like some of the crazy teenage stuff you see in the halls tween classes.



    That's a really catchy song (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by sj on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:51:49 PM EST
    I've thought for a while that Eminem is strange little man, but he's a talented strange little man.

    Cuomo (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:15:08 PM EST
    is an interesting example because he's also been making major cuts to the state budget.  I'm wary of the way he has presented himself in NY, a little bit.

    Plus, I'm not really sure how I feel about social goals being accomplished in lieu of other domestic/economic accomplishments.  I don't really like the suggestion that DADT was only accomplished because of the Deal, for example.  It feels a little too much like being thrown a bone.  The movement for equality is not being led by one person or one politician in particular, as helpful as each politician who supports it may be.  

    I agree that Cuomo is positioning himself for 2016.  It sets him up to beat Biden, certainly, and possibly Hillary Clinton if she chooses to run.  But I would distrust giving him too much credit for this one thing, the same way people gave Obama too much credit for his Iraq speech and subsequent opposition.

    Oh, boy (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:11:48 PM EST
    I'm leery of Cuomo, too, but there isn't a single iota of comparison between his actions on marriage equality and Obama's Iraq speech.

    There's speechifyin,' and then there's actual doing, using your political capital, twisting arms, searching out every conceivable leverage point and then using them.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#50)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:31:05 PM EST
    I agree.  Michael Barbaro's article on how the bill passed is here.  Matt Yglesias' reaction is somewhat interesting (although I disagree with it).  I just don't get all the "political institution" essentialism when we do have mechanisms to get around the supermajority, such as reconciliation.

    I think you really (none / 0) (#142)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:09:32 AM EST
    don't want to use things like reconciliation on a regular basis, though.  It's a bad way to govern.  The problem is we have a bat-shit insane GOP.  I don't know what the solution to that is, other than far better, more consistent messaging (OK, propaganda).

    Yes (none / 0) (#146)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 08:00:41 AM EST
    I know it can't be used all the time.  Still, the ACA passed via reconciliation.  The hated ACA!  And you never hear "it passed through reconciliation!!" as the reason people hate it.

    When Cuomo announced for governor, his speech (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by jawbone on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:30:15 PM EST
    sounded way too conservative for my tastes, and he has been brutal to the Democratic base.

    I think he's firmly in the Neolib Corporatist wing of the current Democratic Party, well to the right of where his father stood on issues and on whose benefit he works for.

    The N-C's (Neolib Corporatists) tend to have some socially liberal positions, and it's a no brainer to support gay issues since they are a sizable donor base for the party. An analyst today on WNYC pointed out that some very big hedge fund guys supported the gay marriage campaign and also told the Republicans that donations to the R's would be dependent on what was done or not done about gay marriage.

    I find Cuomo's adoption of the 2% cap on local property tax increases to be amazing when the nation has the example of California's mess from that kind of capitation.  At the same time, he's cutting way back on state contributions to local education budgets.  This will probably, over a few years, lead to increasing differences in funding for poor districts while the wealthier districts will be able to continue to fund their schools. And when parents hold fundraisers, the nature of the offerings and revenue from the sales will be very different for poor parents and wealthy parents.

    I'm very uncomfortable about any Dem from the N-C Wing, and Cuomo makes me even more uncomfortable.


    "California's mess" doesn't stem from (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 11:06:08 PM EST
    limiting property tax on owner-occupied residences.  Very few people remain in homes protected by Prop. 13.  

    Biden? Really? (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:22:35 PM EST
    According to Biden, anyway... (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    he mentioned running in 2016 recently.  

    If he's reasonably healthy I could see (none / 0) (#12)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:32:09 PM EST
    him running. And going by the early, early, early Iowa poll PPP did, he has a shot. And the sitting VP usually gets the nomination (though loses in the general)

    Agree (none / 0) (#56)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:43:45 PM EST
    I suppose we're supposed to do as Mark Penn said - be happy with the social matters and stay away from the economics.

    Absolutely unacceptable, but I'm beginning to think that's the direction of the Party.  That, and wait for the GOP to overreach. So we're being told, in effect, we have nowhere else to go.

    Social matters or no we still end up as serfs and that's just not acceptable.


    This is a (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:21:19 PM EST
    Perfect example of why executive experience is so much more important and appealing than minimal legislative experience for the Leader of the Free World.

    Agree with Cuomo or not, you know where he stands.

    Do you? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:31:03 PM EST
    Where does he "stand" on a number of other issues?  

    The NYTimes ripped him for the NY state budget.  As the editorial says, "real political courage" doing more than cutting and letting the poor and middle class suffer during a recession.  Both Cuomo and Obama lack that courage.


    To be fair, while I have plenty of problems (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:33:42 PM EST
    with his budget (millionaires can't afford to drop a few thousand extra? Really?!) he was always very clear from early in his campaign what he would do as Governor.

    The only surprise has been how well he's done it.


    That's a completely different issue (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:36:23 PM EST
    I was talking about gay marriage.

    But as to the broader point, it still proves that executive experience, where you have to make decisions, is a much better indicator of a leader than someone who has experience in a collaborative body and can make good speeches.  I don't think we will see another Senator or Rep elected to the highest office again for a long while.  2008 was a fluke.


    Actually (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:43:57 PM EST
    I agree with you. Obama is a prime example of why Senators shouldn't be elected president.

    Unless they've been married (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:45:24 PM EST
    to a president or have other management experience?

    Probably better to stay home (in the WH) (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:53:52 PM EST
    and bake cookies.

    Like I said (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:51:20 PM EST
    2008 was a fluke.

    But being a partner in a law firm was more management and executive experience than some candidates had.


    Ha (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:56:32 PM EST
    I knew that was coming! Hillary is kind of an usual case but you could make a case against her on that basis if you wanted to.

    Ok (none / 0) (#33)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:51:28 PM EST
    I thought you meant "...where he stands" as a general statement about Cuomo.

    I don't know about NY state politics (none / 0) (#57)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:47:07 PM EST
    but what I've seen leads me to believe there are two factions.  The Cuomo faction, beholden to finance and the Switzer faction.

    Is this, generally, a correct view?


    The corner Obama seems to have backed (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:22:17 PM EST
    himself into is one from which he can try to sound more progressive going into the 2012 campaign, but he's still stuck with the reality that when he presumably had all the momentum and political capital in the world to govern from the left, he didn't, so...how are any progressive noises he makes now going to convince voters that "this time" he means it?  Whatever arguments he makes in that vein may be outweighed by the presence of a lot of "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" reaction from the voters, and the only real salvation he may have is the increasingly tired argument that, even if he doesn't really mean what he says, he's still better - by inches, maybe - than the Republican alternative.

    It's not that dynamic or inspiring a campaign theme, though, is it?

    For me, the worst part about another Obama term is that it pretty much walls off and out of the loop the left wing of the Democratic Party, allowing the party to sit firmly to the right of center where the differences between Democrats and Republicans are ones of degree instead of ones of ideology.  

    I know all the arguments about why I should throw my lot in with Obama; I stood in front of a voting machine for a long time in 2008, struggling with the decision whether to forego casting any ballot for the presidency, since voting GOP was not an option.  In the end, I knew my state was going to go comfortably for Obama, so it only mattered to me that I didn't vote for anyone for president.

    All I can say is that if the next 16 months see Obama finally transformed into a Democrat, if he takes some chances and leads us in the right - which is really the left - direction, I could be persuaded; but I don't think that's what we're going to see.  Not now and for sure not if he gets re-elected.

    I don't think Obama should try for your vote (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:16:31 PM EST
    He has a better chance with the moderates.

    Why on earth is going to try to persuade people who spend more time bashing him than the republicans.

    You win by ignoring the extremes and focusing on the moderates, which are really the base of the democratic party.  Not those who believe that the Deal was the worst thing ever or that ACA was worse than nothing.


    How is he going (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:27:12 PM EST
    to get these vaunted "moderates" with his economic record? They don't want to hear things are getting better. They want him to offer concrete workable solutions and not more word salads.

    He just needs to swing to the right (none / 0) (#72)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:28:39 PM EST
    a bit more. Not a stretch  ;)

    He's going to get them (none / 0) (#75)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:33:10 PM EST
    in the same way that his approval numbers have been incredibly solid despite the fact that the economy is not recovering as fast as it should. Because:

    A) Most people understand that it takes more than 4 years to correct 8 years of screw ups.

    B) People may not agree with him on everything but they think he's a fairly straight shooter and willing to put partisanship aside to try to get a deal everyone can live with.

    I know that's not valued around here, but for many americans (dare I say a plurality of americans) that's as important as anything.


    But he's (5.00 / 0) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:40:52 PM EST
    not getting deals that "everyone" can live with is the problem. He is passing legislation that has been bad for the economy for the most part.

    You have to realize that Obama really doesn't have a lot of credibility on the economy and nobody wants to hear well, I couldn't do anything for four years but I really, really try and do better if you let me do it for eight years.

    He has a record and people are going to vote that record up or down.

    Four out of five people give him poor marks on the economy.

    So you continue to post your fantasy talking points while millions of Americans are suffering for lack of good policy from Obama.

    Here's some information from your vaunted polls:

    Obama has hit new highs he'd like to avoid - in public disapproval over his handling of the economy in general and unemployment in particular - according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. In addition, more disapprove of his handling of health care and the federal budget deficit than in the past

    His reelect number is now tied with a Republican.

    He is losing women voters by the millions and it's now down to 48% of women think he should be reelected. That's the number that Dems got in 2010. link


    In general, his reelect numbers have been (none / 0) (#133)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:46:13 PM EST
    very good for this point in time when compared to Presidents in the past 50 years or so. Occasionally, one gets a week or so/a few polls that show a down week, but the trend has been quite good.

    But then, Ga6th, I'm not sure what info about polls for Obama would look good for you. When he was "up," you commented that he could only go down; when he has been "down," your comments appear to ring out. Yet, I find your comments somehow soothing--and this is not being too sarcastic--because your position has a dependable strain. (Someday, I'll let my curiosity get to me and ask: Have you always voted Democratic? Because I have never met a Democrat in my over 40 active political years who uses every Republican speaking point that you have? And, while backhanded, it is a compliment about dogged consistency.)


    Here's the problem (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:09:39 PM EST
    Obama has: the economy is very bad all across the country. If you look at the bottom numbers even in those "good" polls you are talking about the underlying numbers have not been good for him in quite a while.

    I mean his numbers were as good back in November of '10 as they are right now and the party took one of the worst losses they've had in what 60 years?

    People are really suffering outside of the beltway and what is Obama offering? More austerity?

    And he's never been able to emotionally connect with the voters so he's not going to be able to pull that out of his hat.

    This article by James Carville is the best political advice for Obama that I have seen:


    He does need some positive movement (none / 0) (#138)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:31:09 PM EST
    in the economic arena. He needs enough for people to perceive moving in the right direction. As you suggest, the individual "economy" numbers need to improve...yet, even where we are now, most polls are showing remarkably steady favorability ratings. I would not have believed that he would have been able to withstand the concerted "no" and identity fear-mongering by Repubs(aka "other" "Kenyan" "socialist") combined as it is with the economic travail...that he has more than survived in the high forties as a poll average to the low fifties. And, in the meantime, he has proven himself to most as a strong foreign policy, etc. President!

    The gradual effect of the automotive industry's strengthening position--in Detroit & throughout key Midwestern states--may be something to watch. The whole manufacturing emphasis (finally!) will be something to follow...esp in the rust belt.


    Positive movement (none / 0) (#144)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 07:18:35 AM EST
    isn't going to help Obama. Only improvement is. The GOP is going to ask the question are you better off now than you were four years ago? And you know what, if I'm honest, I can't say yes. I'm actually worse off due to declining wages.

    For someone who never misses (none / 0) (#137)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:19:04 PM EST
    an opportunity to try to sound more authoritative than anyone else by touted your life experiences, you sure say silly, counterintuitive things.

    Sorry that you don't like my style. (none / 0) (#139)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 11:00:08 PM EST
    Everyone has their own style, (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 11:06:50 PM EST
    thankfully as it adds to the interesting texture of online communities.  And I don't think christine tries to be any more overbearingly "authoritative" than 10 or 20 other regular posters here, including yrs truly.  

    She expresses her own pov, often one at variance with a certain, uh, rather knee-jerk and vocal anti-Obama faction here, which I think is more the problem some might have, as opposed to style.

    I hope she continues to give her perspective, in part because I find myself often in agreement, and partly as a reminder that this is supposed to be a left-leaning and Dem-backing board, not one to provide cover for the GOP and their ridiculously RW politics.

    Carry on, christine, and don't let the nasty negativists bother you.


    Meh. Christine and (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by dk on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:24:45 PM EST
    everyone else can do whatever they'd like around here, subject to the moderators' discretion.

    But, she certainly does it in a silly, condescending way, and she she usually relies on ad hominem insults ("You're a republican!") instead of reasonable discussion.

    I mean, I'm sorry she regrets being a Ted Kennedy supporter in 1980, but that's no reason to just assume she's more politically savvy than anyone else commenting here.  It's kind of pathetic, really.


    For the record: (none / 0) (#157)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 02:52:00 PM EST
    I do not regret being a Ted Kennedy supporter in 1980. What I regretted afterward was having to learn the hard way that a split party faces extremely long odds in the winning department (e.g., the challenge to incumbent Carter was a major factor, in retrospect, for Reagan being able to surprise us with a victory that set the stage for all the negatives that have followed.) A life lesson for me....

    The split (none / 0) (#158)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 04:28:57 PM EST
    party didn't cost Carter the election so much as the economy at the time and the hostage crisis.

    in my experience, (none / 0) (#161)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 08:26:58 PM EST
    NO ONE is LESS condescending than christinep

    time & again she goes out of her way to be civil & address her interlocutor's concerns while also clearly stating her own pov

    there is a small & sometimes arrogant knee-jerk Obama-worshiping faction at TL but christinep is certainly not among them

    christinep is a model of courteous online communication carried out in a framework of realpolitik

    i don't always share christinep's pov but i always listen because she has earned my respect


    I agree (none / 0) (#163)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:02:47 AM EST
    with you on that. She doesn't name call or anything else. She has her pov which I disagree with a lot but it's certainly not condescending.

    Your encouraging words are appreciated, brodie (none / 0) (#155)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 02:33:12 PM EST
    Clearly, you understand give & take. Thanks.

    Funny, you seem to be (none / 0) (#159)
    by dk on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 05:33:21 PM EST
    the one who can dish out the condescension but is unable to take it.  Perhaps there are still a few life lessons even you haven't learned yet.

    I am sure we all appreciate encouragement (none / 0) (#162)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 09:37:11 PM EST
    ...that has nothing to do with being "unable to take it."  (Now...if you want the last word, you may have it.)

    "Dependable strain"?!? (none / 0) (#150)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 10:48:03 AM EST
    From someone who claims that the trend on Obama's approval numbers has been "quite good"?  Apart from a brief bump after the "Deal" and "OBL", his numbers have been either steadily declining or flat.

    Yep, dependable (none / 0) (#156)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 02:40:48 PM EST
    At least every month or so, the various national pollsters compare Obama's trend line (over time) & numbers with previous Presidents. (Each major pollster retains an archive should you choose to research, yman) Typically--even at its lowest--the poll line for the President is running no lower than right down the middle of the two-termers.  

    While I agree that the economic situation presents a unique challenge now, notice that the recent polls have been stating (usually midway through a narrative) that the Republicans are regarded by the public in worse position. Historically, I believe, that the named challenger faces an uphill battle in that kind of situation...starting with putting their plan on the line for all to see.


    That doesn't change the fact ... (5.00 / 0) (#160)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 06:51:42 PM EST
    ... that Obama's numbers are not "quite good".  From a historic high approval rating (bested only by Kennedy) to 44/48 approve/disapprove (with no upward trend).

    May sound "quite good" to you, but even with the advantages of incumbency and Republicans ready to shoot themselves in the foot with Medicare, Obama's odds are anything but "quite good".


    Going for the mods is the EASIEST (none / 0) (#71)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:27:16 PM EST
    strategy for him, imo. It's way more natural than acting progressive, or dog forbid, slightly liberal or sounding like a Democrat, and the most important of all, won't scare his billion dollar donors . . . O likes easy, it's not messy or combative and works well for bringing in the good ol' boys.

    I wonder if he'll even mention "Democrat" before the convention . . . or perhaps he'll drop it from his convention speech this year as added insurance for GE fund raising . . . .


    Well (none / 0) (#77)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:35:23 PM EST
    I see what the GOP wants to do and I want him to win in the easiest way possible.

    You act like he should be declaring himself a flaming liberal so he can decrease his chances.  

    That's nuts.


    No, in no way did I imply he (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:58:08 PM EST
    should declare himself a flaming liberal. I just said what I think he will do and why. Pretty easy considering his last campaign and the way he's performed so far. And the fact he wants a billion dollars.

    He prob very happy with MB's poll numbers today, it means he can move farther right (comfort zone and quite frankly, more honest) vs if he has to run against Mittens.

    And I find it pretty d@mn pathetic that his supporters are looking for the lowest common denominator as 'competition'. Such a ringing endorsement of their candidate.


    Oh great... (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:28:02 PM EST
    Cuomo.  Didn't he come in to office vowing to fight the unions?  Just what we need, another lifestyle liberal.  Frankly, I seriously doubt that Obama is anti-marriage equality. Cuomo was in a ripe position to take this stand.  It's impressive.  It was impressive when Deval Patrick essentially twisted enough arms to keep marriage equality in Massachusetts.  But if this is what we are down to...if social issues are enough, then I don't see anything progressive about the Democrats at all.  They are essentially just following the trends in public opinion on the social side, while dismantling their own Party apparatus on the economic side.

    with respect (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 07:23:42 PM EST
    for the very good point you are making, i would not call marriage equality a "social issue" or a "lifestyle" issue - it's a civil rights issue, especially since the few victories we've had were won within a persistent context of "states' rights"

    and this is what makes marriage equality an economic issue as well, given the financial impact on millions of same-sex couples who are denied the thousands of federal rights automatically extended to heterosexual couples


    I didn't call it a lifestyle issue. (none / 0) (#154)
    by masslib on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:52:44 PM EST
    I said "lifestyle liberals".  These are the types who support social issues, including civil rights issues, but NOT the broader economic issues.

    cynic on positioning (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by diogenes on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 08:00:47 PM EST
    Here's the deal--Cuomo gave Republicans "No millionaire's tax" and a 2% property tax cap and they gave on gay marriage.  Simple.

    How about a global warming policy? (none / 0) (#30)
    by observed on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    Perhaps the severest indictment of Obama is that he has taken serious discussion of global warming completely off the table.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#58)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:49:10 PM EST
    The severest indictment is the tepid approach to the economy and coziness with Wall St.

    So, will Gov. Cuomo (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:49:08 PM EST
    have shed the "shuck and jive" taint come 2016?

    It would be really odd to bring it up (none / 0) (#35)
    by observed on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:54:50 PM EST
    in 2016, IMO. Who even remembers the comment today?

    Obviously I do. Never thought it was racist (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:56:14 PM EST
    to say it though.

    I remember (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:58:44 PM EST
    that Cuomo is a "racist" crap but by then nobody will want to be associated with Obama anyway if he keeps going the way he has been so it might turn into a badge of honor to be called names by Obama.

    A badge of honor? Not if you're (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:06:18 PM EST
    a candidate who needs black votes.

    or for that matter (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:11:45 PM EST
    votes from white people who care about stuff like that.

    Personally, I find it kind of offensive.  But I've heard worse from a lot of politicians and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was inadvertent.  I mean my mom still tells me to get my "cotton-picking hands" off of things because it's a phrase she grew up with.  And it wasn't until we sat down and thought about it that we realized, hey, that's pretty racist ma - and called her out, at which point she felt pretty embarrassed about it and tried to stop saying it.  Obviously I don't think my mom is racist, I just think sometimes we don't hear ourselves clearly.


    Well (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:13:13 PM EST
    I guess then nobody is going to be getting their votes since even Biden was hit with that accusation.

    Yep, but to be fair ... (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:15:41 PM EST
    ... everyone was a racist, ...

    ... unless you were an Obama supporter.


    No actually (1.00 / 2) (#96)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:37:49 PM EST
    It was jus the people saying the racist stuff that were racist.

    It's funny to hear liberals use the same bull that conservatives use. When Rush gets caught calling someone a Magic Negro or someone makes a joke about Jose Cuervo in front of a bunch of latinos they shoudn't have, the response you hear isn't "well, yeah, that was probably pretty racist".  The response you hear is that "you [insert non-white group]s call EVERYONE a racist.


    We are calling people that make obviously racist statements racist.  What you are doing is trying to figure out a way to distract from the fact that things were said that should have been.  Ferraro, who probably had this sort of thing used on her with sexism, was like a grand master ninja of this jujitsu.  When she made her completely racist statement, she said the following to cover her butt:

    "Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

    How about you just not say racist stuff and we wouldn't call you racist.  That was an option.


    Yes, actually (4.00 / 3) (#130)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:14:14 PM EST
    Obama supporters were constantly calling out non-supporters as racists, and I'm not just talking about the comment sections on DKos, Booman, Huffington, etc.  Not that there aren't a million examples of that, but I'm talking about members of the media, syndicated columnists, and even some Democratic party leaders who were Obama supporters.  There was the (fake) "Darkened video" smear, BC's SC comments, the Obama-in African-garb photo (by Drudge, of all people), Bob Johnson's cocaine reference, Ed Rendell's interview comments re: PA voters, the 3AM video ad - (that was actually a three-fer, for the imaginary subliminal pajama messaging, the imaginary appeal to white fear of AA crime, and the fact that it had no AA people in it, which it did), the "hard-working, white voters comment (a response to a question about an AP poll).

    Don't agree with Ferraro's comments?  Fine.  of course that's just one controversy among many, many contrived controversies created by Obama supporters.  Not to mention the fact that other Dems agree with Ferraro's point,- that Obama's race helped him in the Democratic primary, particularly with AA voters.  But I understand if that upsets you - periodically, your claws come out, ...

    ... right "Sweetie"?

    BTW - The Rush Limbaugh/Jose Cuervo comments are just TSFFW, but your forte appears to be straw arguments, soooooooooo ....

    .... stick with what ya' got, right?


    yea (none / 0) (#100)
    by CST on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:44:23 PM EST
    but there is racist and then there is racist.  Kind of like how there is sexist and then there is sexist.

    I'm all about being as PC as you can, but everyone slips at times.  Remember the "sweetie" debacle?  I promise you everyone here does.

    I don't mean to defend the statements themselves, but people make mistakes.  I actually strongly agree with you on Ferraro though, she was... not my favorite person by a long shot in '08.


    One thing is certain. Hillary supporters (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:02:56 PM EST
    have terrific memories.  That's a good thing.

    interesting definition of "realism" - (none / 0) (#89)
    by seabos84 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:16:59 PM EST
    vote for sell outs cuz then they'll sell you out less??

    over the years of this blogging thing, there are those who've voted POTUS as long or longer than I have (carter was my first in 1980 when I was 20) and who are completely fed up with voting LOTE & getting sold out, and those who are making arguments to stay with the abuser, cuz, the other nutjob is really bad.

    Given that the largest % of people in elections vote for NEITHER candidate by not voting, how do we change anything by continually voting for sell outs to sell us out?

    Pols SHOULD do what Pols do - and when WE let the right wing define the "middle" and the "moderate" and the "independent" and the "center" as 17 degrees off of jackboots, and when WE let our Dim-0-crap sell outs chase definitions and policies that screw the bottom 90% of us because the right wing has decreed those policies to be "moderate", then we deserve to get screwed.

    Hell will freeze over for me to check off 0bummer's name. At least when I write in 'Medicare ForAll' or 'Sue's Sandwich Shop' I won't be checking off the name of the guy who agreed to start defunding Social Security cuz the rich pigs who wrecked everything need to steal more.  I'm guilty of enabling enough of the sell outism for 3 decades with continually voting LOTE LOTE LOTE!

    Cry LOTE, and let slip the dogs of indifference!

    there's my definition of realism.


    I no longer think (1.00 / 2) (#94)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:31:00 PM EST
    a small but loud as hell minority of the democratic party is rational or should be listened to about almost anything because their demands are unrealistic, they will give no credit for the incremental changes that are likely to happen and they are focused more on the bashing other dems than they are bashing the people who REALLY want to gut progressive programs and initiatives.

    Bottom line:  There are just some folks that will never be happy no matter what you do.  You give em DADT repeal, two women on the court, elimination of pre-existng conditions, stead draw down of troops overseas, Bin Ladin dead, saved the auto industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs, revrsed policy on stem cells, stopped enforcing DOMA, began pushing back against Israel, has more women and minorities in positions of leadership than any other president ever and he's still not worth a thumbs up or two every once in a while.

    The funny thing is that Obama is going to sweep in at the last minute and orchestrate a deal that gives each side a little red meat but gets us over the deficit authorization hump and both sides are going to hate it while Obama will benefit.

    The more the far left and far night lose their cookies and treat him unreasonably, the better he will look.

    My friends back in college used to call it the Hater Fuel Effect, and I think it is going to kick in strongly shortly.

    Or, Obama draws a line in the sand and the GOP gets blamed for everything.  Bad for the economy but good for progressives I guess.


    Fine, don't listen to them. (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by dk on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:42:49 PM EST
    But if enough of them don't come out to vote, then it's more likely that Obama will lose re-election, and if that's the case you can blame the Democratic campaign machine and its lay mouthpieces like yourself for calling them irrational and refusing to listen to them.

    Oh, and by calling them irrational and refusing to listen to them, the Democratic party will continue its drift to the right.


    With (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 05:44:41 PM EST
    four out of five people giving Obama bad marks on the economy, it's not just the people on this blog. As a matter of fact, if you look at that number you could say that people on this blog are more representative of the mood of the general public using your very own standard of quoting polls to back up your assertions.

    Obama doing soooooo great he (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 08:15:45 AM EST
    can afford to disregard a segment of the Democratic Party. Since you like to talk about how great Obama is doing in the polls:

    A recent Bloomberg national poll clearly reflects this drop. Less than one-fourth of Independents, only 23%, said they would vote for Obama in 2012.  The same poll found that just 30% of all voters were "certain" to support his reelection; 66% said the country was on the wrong track.

    Yep, he needs to ignore Democratic voters and rely on independents to win in 2012. He has them in the bag. :-(



    I guess now that the New Dems (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 08:48:46 AM EST
    are well inside the tent, those of us with true liberal leanings are just squatters giving the place a disreputable air, and bringing down the neighborhood.

    We've gone from "you have nowhere else to go," to the oh-so-mature "we don't need your kind anyway," even as we troublemaking riff-raff continue to get begging/pleading requests for contributions.  

    I have no idea how this election will go, but I do believe there will be record low turnout among Democrats, and possibly independents, so unless Obama believes he can siphon off enough Republican votes, he may be in serious trouble.

    Who knows - the coming campaign of "Vote for Obama: he's not as bad as the other guy!" may prove to once again be a winner; I guess we'll see soon enough.


    I chose not to be a squatter within (none / 0) (#149)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 09:05:42 AM EST
    the New Democratic party tent. When Brazile and Axelrod said that the "New Democratic" party didn't need me, I took them at their word and joined the ranks of Independents. I did have somewhere else to go. In 2012, there is a good chance that I will vote for this guy.

    Decisions are being made about the national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American for decades to come. As we address the issue of deficit reduction we must not ignore the painful economic reality of today - which is that the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well while the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing. In fact, the United States today has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth.

    Everyone understands that over the long-term we have got to reduce the deficit - a deficit that was caused mainly by Wall Street greed, tax breaks for the rich, two wars, and a prescription drug program written by the drug and insurance companies. It is absolutely imperative, however, that as we go forward with deficit reduction we completely reject the Republican approach that demands savage cuts in desperately-needed programs for working families, the elderly, the sick, our children and the poor, while not asking the wealthiest among us to contribute one penny.

    IMO the lower 98% is going to lose regardless if Obama or the Republican is elected. My vote will be wasted if I pull the lever for the D or the R, since neither will represent my issues. Might as well vote for a person who does speak for me.


    "...stopped enforcing DOMA.." (none / 0) (#151)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:01:02 PM EST
    President Obama, Feb of 20ll, instructed the Department of Justice to no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA, although it would continue to enforce the law until a final court decision was made on its constitutionality.  After the president's announcement that a higher level of scrutiny is necessary for sexually-based classification, and consequently unconstitutional, the DOJ advised a federal judge in SF to uphold DOMA as the law governing government agencies. The DOJ will remain a party but will no longer refer to constitutionality and the president's order is not binding (cf. Circuit Court Attorney Karen Golinski suit against the Office of Personnel Management for not providing health benefits for her wife). And, we await the "certification" of DADT, in keeping with the December repeal, and the impact of continued enforcement of DOMA on rules for married same-sex troops.

    That was what I was thinking too (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Cuomo in 2016. But he sure screwed up Obama's DADT repeal now. I'm still very curious to see what the Obama administration is going to do about gay marriage being recognized in the military now. They look like a bunch of hypocritical parsers at the moment. Can't say it bothers me one little bit that a gutsy Democrat sort hung the wimpy Democrat out to dry just a little. Cuomo's behavior is the sort of behavior I want to reward. How long before the Obama administration changes how the implementation of DADT is going to go down?